Tag Archive | tnt

And then there is race day

(It is kind of funny what race day = work day)
I have never done a triathlon (and quite probably never will but never say never right?), but spectated once at the NYC TRI, and I haveworked at a TNT event as staff once before, but just as support staff. So, I was a bit unprepared to what race day would bring as I hadn’t done that before… I had no idea what a triathlon looked like from the inside (“transition”, what’s that about?) or what I was supposed to do and how. But, as the manager for the tri program, it was about time I figured things out…
But let me back up a little… the day before the event, we usually do what is called the Inspiration Dinner. I have showed you guys the one we had in San Francisco for the Nike Womens Marathon for 4000 people, with Kara Goucher and lots more. The Inspiration dinner servers as a pasta party but also you get to hear about the mission and how your money helps people. In most teams, there is one or more honored team mates, cancer patients in remission, or currently undergoing treatment who are also training for the race. One of them usually speaks at the dinner and tells everyone how they got there and how TNT has helped. Our team mate from NYC talked this time and it was very moving. I don’t have a connection to blood cancer but it’s crazy how cancer is everywhere and always so close. I always end up really moved and inspired (sometimes I even say crazy things like if he did all these triathlons with all he had going on, I HAVE TO do a triathlon too —newsflash: it never lasts… I am so lame!), and I joke that “I cry at this job everyday”, but it is true.
—Every chapter gets their own tables and we get to decorate them with whatever we want…
The dinner starts very loud. We set up what we call the “red carpet”, it’s a long pathway where the teams have to walk thru when they get in and all the staff and coaches line it up dressed up in purple and making lots of noise. It’s insane. Cowbells, bam bams, whistles, drums, whatever. It’s a celebration to their training and commitment and makes them feel like superstarts. It’s pretty amazing and people get super pumped!
—I wish I could show you how loud and insane this is… Impossible!!!
We then eat, hear speeches, including Dave Scott, our National Triathlon head coach (and Chrissie Wellington’s coach), eat pasta and cookies (more cookies than pasta for me), have a little separate group meetup with last minute instructions, do a little arts and crafts decorating singlets/wetsuits, wish everybody a great race day, hug, and they’re off to sleep. The coordinator and I though, had one more thing to do… we created notes for every single one of them, telling how amazing they are and now we had to go through the whole hotel to slip them under their doors. This is a big hotel. 25 acres. 1538 rooms. Ay. But it’s all worth it! They all appreciated it and told us so the next day.
I pass out and ten minutes later it’s race morning!!!!!
Just as a side note, there were around 1200 people in this tri (very unofficial number!!!) and 548 were Team in Training (official number). Can you imagine such a thing? Almost half the racers!!!
Anyway, we had 57 from NYC and they all seemed pumped and ready to go in. It’s kind of funny to me that their corrals are in the water. In the water!!! Of course it’s normal to them, but it’s silly to me (though I’ve been to some races where it was pouring rain so…).
Also funny, seeing them all go crazy to get into their wetsuits, they jump around, the pull and shove each other… And don’t get me started on those swim caps.
We help with stuff, then they are off and we just wait for a few minutes.
As soon as they start coming out of the water we cheer but also have to check each of our NYC participants off a list. We have to make sure everyone is accounted for. Just in case. But they all come out undressing mid run and they are all smiling!
After everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is out of the water, we regroup with our cheering squad (with other staff from texas and california) and we move to our second location to cheer them on Mile 2 and 4.
It is hot. If this was a run I’d be upset. But tris require warmer weather, or they’d freeze in the water and the bike, or so I heard.
After we had all of our team go through Mile 4, we had to go help at the Finish.
We cheered, moved people along, helped with the check out, and all that fun stuff. By then it was around noon and I had been up since 5, so I was starving, tired, and hot. All I wanted was to jump in the water…
I had to rush though, bike loading (to bring their bikes back to NYC) finished at 3 and I had a lot of co2 cartridges to return (it’s a bullet that contains some gas to pump tired in a second) and they were in my room. So, rush to the hotel, then rush to bike loading. By 3:30 pm, I was free. For a bit. Had to make myself presentable for the Victory Party (yes, so many parties, tough job!!). 
This one is more laid back, there’s no speeches, people just eat, dance, chat, congratulate each other and toast themselves into an early night. We were all exhausted, but we were all still fun.
A party BY the pool, not a pool party, we were reminded…
Just because we’re not ridiculous enough!
Our Brooklyn Head Coach, that makes me look super short!

And then there is race day

NYCM2011: Who wasn’t at the expo?

Before this: NYCM2011: All over the press / NYCM2011: At the NYCM Press Conference / NYCM2011: FootLocker Run – Bart, Ryan, Bobby, Carrie, Steph, well… everyone was there!

Thursday I had an after-work work thing, so I had to go to the expo earlier in the day. Blaise (my training partner) and I met up for the trip, because I knew that as soon as we got there, we’d get separated… This is how you ride to the Expo!

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Cool right? NYC transforms into running mecca for the marathon!! Everywhere you look there’s banners, ads, signs, elite runners, whatever. It’s kinda really too cool. And it’s Fall. There’s no better week to be in this fabulous city!

Mandatory expo shot:

new york city marathon 2011 Footlocker five boro challenge nyrr expo elizabeth maiuolo (6)

As soon as I walk in, even before I get my bib, I walk into one of my best friends and most favorite people in the world!! I met Karen at Team in Training and we shared offices for a month. It’s a small city. Or a small expo!?!? Runners tend to hang out in the same circles… though she was volunteering at the expo.

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Another mandatory expo shot I’ve done 5 years in a row…! Yey for rituals!

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The Asics store is usually the biggest booth and always pretty amazing. Because of that, I looked down and blazes thru it repeating out loud ‘I don’t need anything” like a crazy person.

new york city marathon 2011 Footlocker five boro challenge nyrr expo elizabeth maiuolo (7)

Ok, I lied. I didn’t look down. I looked up: their ads are pretty osom!

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At the NYRR’s booth, with Daphne. Fab new logo, Fab Daphne…

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More fabulosity… the love story continues… Laura, watch out!!!!!

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Ah, the TNT booth! Katie looking fabulous in purple, my favorite color. What are the odds?

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And there’s John again, who I talked about yesterday. He was manning the NYRR Training Program booth with another one of NYRR’s osom coaches, Stuart Calderwood. The guy is pretty phenomenal and is about to break all records ever. yeap. Sorry for the blurry pictures, these two are just fast for a regular camera!

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That’s Dari, at the Sparkly Soul booth with fabulous shiny headbands. She’s a TNT coach so in two seconds we were both screaming!

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HA, and Tegla Loroupe was signing pictures. I wished her good luck and she signed a card for me! Uh, my head is enormous. Maybe that’s why those headbands are so tight!?!??!

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I took some pictures of the adidas booth because I love Grete…

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Went back to the RW booth to say goodbye to Barth and Amby was there… We chatted a bit about the Loop and Smart Coach and stuff. I think he’s like Neo in the matrix and he just sees numbers and code…

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It was a fun trip and it always takes forever. I got a few “I know who you are!!!” or, “I read about you!!”, which was weird and cool at the same time. I looked at the medal, which is always fun. That’s all I think about come mile 22… 2 days to go and I am exhausted. I am thinkign about skipping the RW party tonight. It’s sad but I am toast!

After this: NYCM2011: Have you seen a Marathon Morning like this? /  NYCM2011: Get Ready, Set, GO! / NYCM2011: Beyond The Finish Line (finally the last post!) / NYCM2011: Marathon Monday (Ed, the breakfast, Carrie, the press conference, etc.!) /

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – Race Day Fun

Sunday we got up really early (WHY, oh WHY, is always everything so early???? I am from south america people!!) and we basically had to meet up with the LA chapter to cheer at mile 9.5 and then, as soon as the last TNT runner went by, we’d drive over to mile 25, to cheer there by the beach, and then off to the Finish line to make sure every single one of our NYC TNT runners were accounted for. 
We set up to cheer at 7 am a@ mile 9.5 with coffee, some snacks, a couple of policemen, and lots of energy. I have to say, I had never worried to train my voice (and I do have lots of practice screaming at nyc drivers!) but after a couple of hours I would have loved some lemon green tea with honey (selfnote!!). 

The fun stuff…

I saw Kara Goucher run by, very very closely followed by Joanie Benoit Samuelson, and I screamed at both (but got no pictures!). And then, guess who spotted me (how on earth did she? I had like 60 pounds of outfit on me), yeah, Jenn, who was doing wonderfully with her friend!

Police officers were letting cars go when it thinned out, but this guy had to sit there for over an hour, hilarious (to me at least!).
Poor woman had her bra snap off and we were trying to assist, which was not easy given the sweat, layers and stuff, but we were on a mission and got it done!
Crazy maniac… yeah me!

We then drove over to mile 25.3, right on the beach by the Dutch Windmill, though we got a bit lost on our way there??? (ooops). All that matters is that we made it, right?

After we checked in at the finish line, got everyone accounted for (every single one of them finished!!!), we headed back to the city. Traffic was insane though and we hadn’t eaten much yet. It was 3 pm and all I had was coffee, a banana, and some crackers, eeeek! After a fast lunch and a shower we scooted over to the victory party, just a few blocks down the street (Thank God it was close!!).
We cleaned up super fast-

I was beat after so I never made it to the post-party party (yes, lots of celebration has to be done) and I passed out as soon as I saw my bed, as we had to be up early Monday to catch the flight back.
The Good:

  • San Francisco, as a city, rocks. A close second to NYC.
  • On the other hand, SF hills trump hills in any other big city. I shall NOT forget this ever again.
  • All of our participants finished. Some had a bit of pain, some were really tired, but they all finished.
  • Coffee Bean cawfee tops Starbucks any day. Cako cupcakes rock.
  • I learned a lot. I have a few mental notes. But mostly, the weekend went perfectly.
  • I enjoyed some serious girl power this weekend, even from all the men everywhere, who were equally involved and/or supportive.
  • Running to cure cancer is really moving. I cried a lot of the weekend, got chills, and was really inspired to make a difference.­­­
  • Running and travelling with a team to a race seems like a lot of fun. There’s a lot to be said about the power in numbers!

I might want to have a fireman give me one of these Tiffany necklaces next year. I might even run for it. The course looks pretty amazing (pfff the hills!!).

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – Race Day Fun

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – As seen on the Run

We (two more Team in Training staffers, a bunch of coaches, and around 150 runners) left towards SanFran Friday early for the Nike Women’s Marathon. I had planned to do my long run on Friday afternoon, as soon as we landed, as there was going to be no time over the weekend for it. I was not the coordinator for this event so I was coming as support staff, but we still had assignments for the whole weekend. So, as we flew there early and spent most of the day on a plane, we had to eat first: it was 5 pm on my internal clock when I got some food!!  So, right after lunch, we went to the expo for a little walk; there was no way I could have run right after the insane (and heavy) catch up food I had…  The expo was a big tent in Union Square, right in the middle of town, and luckily very close to our hotel.      Soon it was time to run before it got very dark and very late!! My legs were still stiff from the plane sitting, I was completely dehydrated, and still had an enormous pork slab sandwich, onion rings and french fries in my tummy: it was going to be a tough run.  Oh, add San Francisco’s hills to the equation… If I had known what I was getting into, I probably would not have gone… but, as you know, there’s no better (and more efficient) way to enjoy a city than on a run, so I am glad I powered through my laziness. And though it was not my first time there, I saw many amazing things that renewed my love for this city. Nothing like a run to experience a place and also to reset your body! My plan was to run from our hotel in Union Square, by the bay, all the way to the Golden Bridge and back. The other option was to run through Golden Gate Park, which I love too… Ah, I wish I had had time for two runs! Here’s us running UP on Powell. Just TWO letters for “up” is a major understatement!                   By the time we got to the bridge, we had run 6 (very slow) miles and I was starting to feel it. Actually, I was feeling it since I left the hotel on those super steep streets! I wasn’t even sweating I was so dehydrated. Still, we couldn’t find anywhere to buy a drink until we got to around 9 miles, and I was running on fumes. Climbing back up the streets to Union Square was impossible, I had to walk them up. Even had to walk some of the downhills as they were so steep. I was so tired when I got to the hotel that I was dreaming of a fireman waiting in the lobby with a Tiffany necklace (or any kind of medal, or a botte of water, anything, please!). Tough, still amazing, run!! Early saturday we had a staff meeting, to go over logistics and stuff. I had a bit of time after that, so we walked by the expo again!  And then Niketown, which was complete mayhem!!  (I want all of these shirts —> christmas list!)  True-dat! Do english-speakers even know what “barefoot” means???????????  Then I worked at the expo a bit. And guess who I ran into as I was leaving…! JensterNC!  A couple of hours later, we had our TNT inspiration dinner… and though we had around 160 runners from NYC, if you counted all the other US chapters, there was 3700 TNT participants! We set up an enourmous pasta party and when our participants come in, all the staff, coaches, and mentors cheer them on. It is very lound. And really chill-inducing. You can’t not be moved, or cry. I dare you!       
Loved this team’s shirt!
Then, we got super inspired. I am not sure a lot of people can say that they cry at their job every day and that that is good thing. I do. I might have to switch from contacts to glasses soon.John Bingham (the Penguin) was the MC and he was quite funny, and also super inspiring.

Then Kara talked. Yeah, Kara Goucher was there!!! She was amazing, and talked about the TNT runners were so inspiring to her. Soon we had to rest and get ready for some serious race day work: cheering! 😉

WNM11 (Nike Women’s Marathon) – As seen on the Run

Could I be one of those “too busy to run” people?

Definitely a bit too crazy here to stay on top of emails/blogging/etc… It’s been an insanely busy week/weekend/month, hence the no time to write at all. (help!!!!, can I keep going like this???!!). 

 I need some of this ASAP!!

I can’t believe I haven’t even blogged about the mega event of all times. 
Get ready.

I think I hadn’t been so exited for like… ages…

I was just chatting with a friend, on Fashion Night Out, on a corner in Madison Avenue, and then… Bill Cunningham took my picture!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who is Bill Cunningham, you might ask? (some did already!)
William J. Cunningham (born 1929) is a fashion photographer for The New York Times, known for his candid street photography.

Cunningham photographs people and the passing scene in the streets of Manhattan every day. Most of his pictures, he has said, are never published. Designer Oscar de la Renta has said, “ It’s the total scope of fashion in the life of New York.” Anna Wintour (Vogue’s Editor in Chief) said “We all get dressed for Bill”.

We were both stunned, in ubersicktothestomach shock; before we even said something, he had vanished. I guess I’ll be checking out his On the Street New York Times’ Style column with a bit more interest now!!

I’ve been quite busy though; working a lot, attending a few (or a lot) work-related events, and coaching many hours too! I attended a Corporate event @ twitter which was kindareally cool.

I’ll be volunteering as the 10K VIP area captain at Light the Night, in case anyone is interested (in walking across the Brooklyn bridge for charity or volunteering with me!). I did the event 3 years ago and it’s super fun. Also, change of plans, I won’t be coordinating Madrid or NJ. Instead, I’ll be managing the triathlon seasons next year, which includes Lavaman in Hawaii, St Anthony and the NYC Nautica Triahtlon!

Funny note: I coached two runners yesterday morning, and shocker, both were wearing the same running shoes: NB’s minimus trail. I thought that was ridiculously funny, given they didn’t know each other.

I am really liking how things are shaping up! I get to help people (runners!!) with their biomechanics, and I get to help the other people start running by telling them about Team in Training!! For example: Saturday I chopped like 5 inches of my hair and meanwhile I convinced my hairstylist that she could train with us. She was so excited she didn’t want to charge me!! How insane is that? A win-win: my ponytail is way lighter now so she enhanced my running too!!

Could I be one of those “too busy to run” people?